FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Final 2018: Beaudoin (CAN)

1 December 2018

Spain – Mexico
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Princess Brown (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)
Fourth Official: Maria Carvajal (CHI)
Reserve AR: Sarah Jones (NZL)

Match for Third Place
New Zealand – Canada
Referee: Riem Hussein (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Kylie Cockburn (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihaela Tepusa (ROU)
Fourth Official: Salima Mukansanga (RWA)
Reserve AR: Oleksandra Ardasheva (UKR)

Mexican referee on hunger strike

Mexican referee Adalid Maganda has begun a hunger strike outside the headquarters of the country's Football Federation (Femexfut) in protest at his dismissal. After being sacked in April, Maganda attempted to return to his job but did not reach an agreement with the country's referees commission for his reinstatement. The 34-year-old, who originates from the town of Huehuetan in the state of Guerrero, accused the referee commission of racism and discrimination. He said Arturo Brizio, president of that commission, insulted him for both his skin color and his height. The last game Maganda took part in was on Jan. 16 as a fourth official. He has set up camp outside the Femexfut headquarters and is refusing to eat until he gets his job back. "I'm not fighting for money," Maganda told local media. "I'm just fighting for fairness and dignity. I want my job back as what I achieved I earned by putting in a lot of effort on the pitch, without getting any gifts from anyone. They are the ones to blame for being racists."
On Wednesday, Femexfut officials told Maganda that they will meet with him to hear his complaints. Maganda also confirmed to ESPN that he and his lawyer will attend the meeting and will not leave until there is some type of resolution. Maganda said he has no choice but to go on a hunger strike. "We have taken this decision because the Federation has taken us for a ride since this [process] began," he said. "In the first hearing, I was told I would not get my job back, then in the second, they said that I would but only officiate in the second division and in the third, they told me I would get to referee in the first division but that they didn't know when that would be. They are the ones to blame for being racists." 
In October, Maganda told ESPN Mexico that Brizio had not attended the hearings as "he was afraid because he knows what he did. The evidence is there." Maganda's final audience was on Tuesday and Brizio was again not in attendance. "We have not received any response," he said. "They only told us that neither the president nor the secretary were there but we will be here until someone from the Femexfut receives us." Maganda has the support of family and friends, who have protested with banners that read: "Justice for Adalid." 

Source: ESPN

Concacaf U-20 Championship Final 2018: Barton (SLV)

21 November 2018

USA – Mexico
Referee: Ivan Barton (SLV, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Chantal Boudreau (CAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jassett Kerr (JAM)
Fourth Official: Kimbell Ward (SKN)

UEFA Europa League – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

29 November 2018

Vorskla Poltava – Arsenal
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski (POL, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Marcin Boniek (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Dawid Golis (POL)
Fourth Official: Adam Kupsik (POL)
Additional AR 1: Daniel Stefański (POL)
Additional AR 2: Zbigniew Dobrynin (POL)
Referee Observer: Eugen Strigel (GER)

Spartak Moskva – Rapid Wien
Referee: Paweł Gil (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Konrad Sapela (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Marcin Borkowski (POL)
Fourth Official: Krzysztof Myrmus (POL)
Additional AR 1: Krzysztof Jakubik (POL)
Additional AR 2: Piotr Lasyk (POL)
Referee Observer: Salustià Ciprés (AND)

Astana – Dynamo Kyiv
Referee: Ivan Bebek (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomislav Petrović (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Miro Grgić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Goran Pataki (CRO)
Additional AR 1: Mario Zebec (CRO)
Additional AR 2: Goran Gabrilo (CRO)
Referee Observer: Asim Xudiyev (AZE)

FC Zürich – AEK Larnaca
Referee: Aleksey Eskov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Dmitri Mosyakin (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Averyanov (RUS)
Fourth Official: Dmitri Safyan (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Mikhail Vilkov (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Roman Galimov (RUS)
Referee Observer: Albano Janku (ALB)

Bayer Leverkusen – PFC Ludogorets
Referee: Dennis Higler (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Joost van Zuilen (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Bas van Dongen (NED)
Fourth Official: Davie Goossens (NED)
Additional AR 1: Pol van Boekel (NED)
Additional AR 2: Allard Lindhout (NED)
Referee Observer: László Vágner (HUN)

Red Bull Salzburg – RB Leipzig
Referee: Orel Grinfeld (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Dvir Shimon (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: Roi Hassan (ISR)
Fourth Official: Idan Yarkoni (ISR)
Additional AR 1: Erez Papir (ISR)
Additional AR 2: Ziv Adler (ISR)
Referee Observer: Kristinn Jakobsson (ISL)

Rosenborg – Celtic
Referee: Halis Özkahya (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Hakan Yemişken (TUR)
Fourth Official: Kemal Yılmaz (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Ali Palabıyık (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Koray Gençerler (TUR)
Referee Observer: Ferenc Székely (HUN)

FC Zenit – FC København
Referee: Slavko Vinčič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Rade Obrenovič (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Roberto Ponis (SVN)
Referee Observer: Fritz Stuchlik (AUT)

Girondins de Bordeaux – Slavia Praha
Referee: Fábio Veríssimo (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Álvaro Mesquita (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Nuno Pereira (POR)
Fourth Official: Bruno Rodrigues (POR)
Additional AR 1: Carlos Xistra (POR)
Additional AR 2: Luís Godinho (POR)
Referee Observer: Luis Medina Cantalejo (ESP)

RSC Anderlecht – Spartak Trnava
Referee: Anastásios Papapétrou (GRE)
Assistant Referee 1: Trýfon Petrópoulos (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Iordánis Aptósoglou (GRE)
Fourth Official: Ilías Alexéas (GRE)
Additional AR 1: Athanásios Tzílos (GRE)
Additional AR 2: Ángelos Evangélou (GRE)
Referee Observer: Stefano Podeschi (SMR)

Fenerbahçe – Dinamo
Referee: Robert Schörgenhofer (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Markus Gutschi (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Roland Riedel (AUT)
Fourth Official: Andreas Witschnigg (AUT)
Additional AR 1: René Eisner (AUT)
Additional AR 2: Dieter Muckenhammer (AUT)
Referee Observer: Gerard Perry (IRL)

Qarabağ FK – Sporting CP
Referee: Petr Ardeleanu (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Petr Blažej (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomáš Mokrusch (CZE)
Fourth Official: Jan Paták (CZE)
Additional AR 1: Zbyněk Proske (CZE)
Additional AR 2: Emanuel Marek (CZE)
Referee Observer: Bernardino González Vázquez (ESP)

AC Milan – F91 Dudelange
Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Valeri Danchenko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Aleksey Vorontsov (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Kirill Levnikov (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Vasiliy Kazartsev (RUS)
Referee Observer: Vlado Svilokos (CRO)

Real Betis – Olympiakos
Referee: Sergey Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Igor Demeshko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksey Lunev (RUS)
Fourth Official: Roman Usachev (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Sergey Ivanov (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Vladimir Moskalev (RUS)
Referee Observer: Hans Reijgwart (NED)

Krasnodar – Akhisarspor
Referee: Ivaylo Stoyanov (BUL)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Kolev (BUL)
Assistant Referee 2: Georgi Doynov (BUL)
Fourth Official: Petar Dzhuganski (BUL)
Additional AR 1: Volen Chinkov (BUL)
Additional AR 2: Nikolay Yordanov (BUL)
Referee Observer: Joeri Van De Velde (BEL)

Bate Borisov – Mol Vidi
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Yuste Jiménez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Alonso Fernández (ESP)
Fourth Official: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: José Sánchez Martínez (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Santiago Jaime Latre (ESP)
Referee Observer: Zoran Petrović (SRB)

Rangers – Villarreal
Referee: Matej Jug (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Matej Žunič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Manuel Vidali (SVN)
Fourth Official: Tomislav Pospeh (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Nejc Kajtazovič (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Mitja Žganec (SVN)
Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)

Eintracht Frankfurt – Olympique de Marseille
Referee: John Beaton (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Alan Mulvanny (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Sean Carr (SCO)
Fourth Official: Stuart Stevenson (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Kevin Clancy (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Greg Aitken (SCO)
Referee Observer: Rodger Gifford (WAL)

Apóllon Limassol – Lazio
Referee: Roi Reinshreiber (ISR)
Assistant Referee 1: Danny Krasikow (ISR)
Assistant Referee 2: David Biton (ISR)
Fourth Official: Amihay Mozes (ISR)
Additional AR 1: Yigal Frid (ISR)
Additional AR 2: Daniel Natan (ISR)
Referee Observer: Niklas Líðarenda (FRO)

Sarpsborg – Beşiktaş
Referee: Harald Lechner (AUT)
Assistant Referee 1: Andreas Heidenreich (AUT)
Assistant Referee 2: Maximilian Kolbitsch (AUT)
Fourth Official: Andreas Staudinger (AUT)
Additional AR 1: Alexander Harkam (AUT)
Additional AR 2: Julian Weinberger (AUT)
Referee Observer: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)

Malmö FF – KRC Genk
Referee: Srdjan Jovanović (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Uroš Stojković (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Mihajlović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Dragan Bogićević (SRB)
Additional AR 1: Lazar Lukić (SRB)
Additional AR 2: Zoran Široki (SRB)
Referee Observer: Peter Sippel (GER)

Standard de Liège – Sevilla FC
Referee: Daniel Siebert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Seidel (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Fourth Official: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Additional AR 1: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
Additional AR 2: Benjamin Cortus (GER)
Referee Observer: Cyril Zimmermann (SUI)

FK Jablonec – Stade Rennais
Referee: Tiago Martins (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Luís Campos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Fourth Official: António Godinho (POR)
Additional AR 1: Hugo Miguel (POR)
Additional AR 2: João Capela (POR)
Referee Observer: David Malcolm (NIR)

Chelsea – PAOK
Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Silver Kõiv (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Aron Härsing (EST)
Fourth Official: Jaan Roos (EST)
Additional AR 1: Juri Frischer (EST)
Additional AR 2: Eiko Saar (EST)
Referee Observer: Gaetano De Gabriele (MLT)

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2018 – Semi-finals

28 November 2018

Mexico – Canada
Referee: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ekaterina Kurochkina (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Maria Sukenikova (SVK)
Fourth Official: Sandra Braz (POR)
Reserve AR: Mariana Almeida (ARG)

New Zealand – Spain
Referee: Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Naomi Teshirogi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Makoto Bozono (JPN)
Fourth Official: Laura Fortunato (ARG)
Reserve AR: Mary Blanco (COL)

UEFA Champions League – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

27 November 2018

AS Roma – Real Madrid
Referee: Clément Turpin (FRA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Cyril Gringore (FRA)
Fourth Official: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Ruddy Buquet (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Nicolas Rainville (FRA)
Referee Observer: William Young (SCO)

AEK Athens – AFC Ajax
Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Stuart Burt (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Simon Bennett (ENG)
Fourth Official: Stephen Child (ENG)
Additional AR 1: Paul Tierney (ENG)
Additional AR 2: Andre Marriner (ENG)
Referee Observer: Haim Jakov (ISR)

CSKA Moskva – Viktoria Plzeň
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
Assistant Referee 1: Mario Diks (NED)
Assistant Referee 2: Hessel Steegstra (NED)
Fourth Official: Rob van de Ven (NED)
Additional AR 1: Kevin Blom (NED)
Additional AR 2: Jochem Kamphuis (NED)
Referee Observer: Karen Nalbandyan (ARM)

Bayern München – SL Benfica
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Alessandro Costanzo (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Marco Guida (ITA)
Referee Observer: Manuel Díaz Vega (ESP)

TSG Hoffenheim – Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee: Ivan Kružliak (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomáš Somoláni (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Branislav Hancko (SVK)
Fourth Official: Tomáš Mókoš (SVK)
Additional AR 1: Peter Kráľovič (SVK)
Additional AR 2: Filip Glova (SVK)
Referee Observer: Marc Batta (FRA)

Olympique Lyonnais – Manchester City
Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Fourth Official: Matteo Passeri (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Luca Banti (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Daniele Doveri (ITA)
Referee Observer: Oğuz Sarvan (TUR)

Manchester United – Young Boys
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Mark Borsch (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefan Lupp (GER)
Fourth Official: Markus Häcker (GER)
Additional AR 1: Bastian Dankert (GER)
Additional AR 2: Marco Fritz (GER)
Referee Observer: Paulius Malžinskas (LTU)

Juventus – Valencia
Referee: William Collum (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: David McGeachie (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Fourth Official: Francis Connor (SCO)
Additional AR 1: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
Additional AR 2: Nicolas Walsh (SCO)
Referee Observer: Uno Tutk (EST)

28 November 2018
Atlético de Madrid – AS Monaco
Referee: Mattias Gestranius (FIN)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan-Peter Aravirta (FIN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mikko Alakare (FIN)
Fourth Official: Jukka Honkanen (FIN)
Additional AR 1: Antti Munukka (FIN)
Additional AR 2: Dennis Antamo (FIN)
Referee Observer: Jaap Uilenberg (NED)

Lokomotiv Moskva – Galatasaray
Referee: Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Pau Cebrián Devís (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Roberto Díaz Pérez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Xavier Estrada Fernández (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP)
Referee Observer: Levan Paniashvili (GEO)

Borussia Dortmund – Club Brugge
Referee: Gediminas Mažeika (LTU)
Assistant Referee 1: Vytautas Šimkus (LTU)
Assistant Referee 2: Vytenis Kazlauskas (LTU)
Fourth Official: Dovydas Sužiedėlis (LTU)
Additional AR 1: Donatas Rumšas (LTU)
Additional AR 2: Manfredas Lukjančukas (LTU)
Referee Observer: Luciano Luci (ITA)

PSV Eindhoven – FC Barcelona
Referee: Pavel Královec (CZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Ivo Nádvorník (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Kamil Hájek (CZE)
Fourth Official: Jakub Hrabovský (CZE)
Additional AR 1: Miroslav Zelinka (CZE)
Additional AR 2: Karel Hrubeš (CZE)
Referee Observer: Domenico Messina (ITA)

Tottenham Hotspur – Internazionale Milano
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarık Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Barış Şimşek (TUR)
Referee Observer: Gylfi Orrason (ISL)

Paris Saint Germain – Liverpool FC
Referee: Szymon Marciniak (POL)
Assistant Referee 1: Paweł Sokolnicki (POL)
Assistant Referee 2: Tomasz Listkiewicz (POL)
Fourth Official: Radosław Siejka (POL)
Additional AR 1: Paweł Raczkowski (POL)
Additional AR 2: Tomasz Musiał (POL)
Referee Observer: Emil Božinovski (MKD)

SSC Napoli – Crvena Zvezda
Referee: Jesús Gil Manzano (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Ángel Nevado Rodríguez (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Diego Barbero Sevilla (ESP)
Fourth Official: Íñigo Prieto López (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Juan Martínez Munuera (ESP)
Additional AR 2: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Referee Observer: Michael Riley (ENG)

FC Porto – FC Schalke
Referee: Ovidiu Hațegan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Șovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Sebastian Colțescu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Leslie Irvine (NIR)

Williams: “Perfection does not exist”

The problem with chasing perfection is that it doesn’t exist. That’s what I feel like we’re doing with Video Assistant Referees in football right now. VAR was introduced because the football community weren’t willing to trust referees or accept mistakes anymore. The new technology was supposed to make everything clear-cut. It was supposed to stop the howlers. Well, when you look at the media scrutiny of VAR since it was introduced, we seem to be ‘debating’ refereeing decisions more than ever before. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the use of technology, but it seems that we haven’t fixed a single thing. In fact, even when the right call has been made by VAR – as we saw with the Wanderers’ disallowed goal in the Sydney Derby – people still aren’t happy. I heard people argue that the technology shouldn’t have been used or that it wasn’t a foul or that Zullo ‘wouldn’t have got there anyway’. At the end of the day, the officials made a ruling. Michael was impeded by Jaushua Sotirio who was coming back from an offside position, and that stopped him defending the cross that led to Bonevacia’s goal. The officials were right to correct it. The FFA have since come out and said they want to set a higher threshold for when VAR can be used. They don’t want ‘nitpicking’. Now we’re trying to find a middle ground between assisting referees and interfering with the game, and everyone will have a different opinion on where that line is. What the Sydney Derby incident does tell me is that VAR doesn’t have an inherent technical flaw. The outrage was over a refusal to accept an interpretation of the Laws of the Game by a team of referees using the technology. In that case, the powers that be can tweak VAR as much as they want. It seems refereeing decisions will be argued about in coffee shops forever. And for me, the answer is simple. It’s something that has been lacking from Australian football for quite some time. Respect.
This isn’t democracy
People talk about refereeing decisions as if there is a debate to be had. We need to get real about one thing here: refereeing isn’t democratic. I don’t know whether it’s a part of our Aussie culture that goes back to the colonial days or what, but we struggle to show respect for people in authority. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a police officer, or in my case a qualified teacher and referee. Respect just isn’t there as a given. In football, a team of officials have been given a job after a stringent selection process, to go out there and make the tough calls. And they’ve been trained to do a better job at that than anyone else, under incredible pressure. That’s where the frustration lies for me, because I loved the challenge of honing my craft. I’m proud of my profession. With my friends Mathew Cream and Hakan Anaz, I travelled to 46 different countries refereeing tournaments: World Cup qualifiers, international friendlies and even a J-League derby between Urawa and Kashima at the Saitama Stadium during my exchange in Japan. When it comes to respect for referees, I can tell you that Australia is worse than many of those countries I have visited. I remember one incident from the 2014 World Cup in Brasil that illustrates this perfectly. I had to make a really tough call in my second match at the tournament, which was between Belgium and South Korea. It was 0-0 right before half-time when I saw one of the Belgian guys, Steven Defour, stomp on the leg of a Korean player. I knew at that moment that no one in the stadium – players, coaches or spectators – expected a red card. Still, I knew that the player must be sent off. The tough, but correct call, needed to be made. The tackle could have broken the Korean bloke’s leg and the slow-motion replays after the game would have showed that. I knew that if I didn’t act, my boss would be booking me a ticket home the next day. So, I trusted my gut. I told my team what I was going to do and they didn’t try to talk me down, so I walked over and issued a red card. Everyone in the stadium was stunned and I remember Kevin Mirallas and Marouane Fellaini coming over to ask what happened. But you know what? When I told them Steven had stomped on the Korean player’s leg and could have broken it, they just said, ‘OK, fair enough.’ I thought, ‘If I’d made that same decision in the A-League, the players would have gone absolutely berko and the fans would have been cursing me’. Even worse, I would have been brutally castigated in the media. At the World Cup, I was congratulated for making the right decision. My team and I went on to be appointed for a match in the round of 16 – the first Aussies at a men’s World Cup to be appointed past the group stage. Then I was back again in the quarter-finals as a Fourth Official for the match between Argentina and Belgium. There was an understanding, acceptance and professionalism around that incident that is often absent in Australia. I’ve seen our national teams and club sides struggle with this when they compete on the world stage and a decision goes against them. If you lose your head over a decision from the referee, mentally you’ve lost the game. For success at the highest level, we need to change. We need to rediscover the resilience many of our old national teams were famous for.
The cost of a big call
There are two other moments that stand out in my memory. The first is from a mid-week FFA Cup match where I had to send a defender from one team off for kicking an attacking player in the chest. I knew that it was 100 per cent the right call to make but after the match no one backed me up. The commentators had plenty of scathing things to say and they got the coach to say what they wanted – that I’d ruined the match and cost his team. It all blew up. I was supposed to be on the Melbourne Derby that weekend but there was such a media outcry that I was taken off the match. A different referee was appointed in my place. I’d been excited for the derby for ages as well, because those big games are the ones you look forward to, just the same as the players and fans do. It’s a huge buzz refereeing in front of big crowds like that. You can imagine how disappointing it was to miss out. It wasn’t long after that I flew to Kuala Lumpur for a training seminar at the AFC headquarters. As I was walking in, FIFA’s main instructor took me aside. He said he had one of my clips in his presentation. As you can imagine, I was more than a bit nervous to hear that. He said, ‘Yeah, the red card in the Cup. We’re using that as an example for other referees of what they should do.’ The way everything had panned out was laughable. In Australia, many people had hung me out to dry for that decision but here was FIFA, using it as an example of good refereeing. Talk about a lack of understanding and respect! The second incident was at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia. I was appointed referee for a quarter-final in Canberra between two huge rivals – Iran and Iraq. We had known this was a potential match-up since the draw had been released, and that my team may be a chance of being appointed. With that in mind, I worked with my two assistant referees, Matthew Cream and Paul Cetrangolo, on our analysis before the tournament so we could be fully prepared. I was excited about the prospect of being tested in such a big match, in my hometown, in front of my family and friends. It was a match that certainly lived up to the hype! With Iran up 1-0 just before half-time, I had to caution one of their players for simulation in the penalty area. He was attempting to deceive me into awarding a penalty. I ran over and told him there was no foul and that he needed to get up. He refused to follow my requests and stayed down, insisting there had been a foul. After calmly asking a few times, I said again that there was no foul and that he needed to get on with the game or face a caution. He continued to delay, so he received a yellow card as he sat on the ground with his number obscured. As I ran back to halfway, the Iraqi players pointed out that it was his second yellow. I checked and saw it was indeed a player that had already been booked. The Laws of the Game are clear, so I showed the red card and he was sent off. In such a big match, the delay between the yellow and the red card caused the ‘controversy’. It wasn’t ideal, but it was the right thing to do for that player’s behaviour. I had to act. The match got even crazier after that. It was 1-1 after regular time, then 3-3 after extra time before Iraq won on penalties. It was one of the most intense games I’d ever been involved with as a referee and walking off the field I was confident in all the decisions my team had made. But once again, the Australian media castigated me and the way they attacked me framed how the match was reported on internationally by the world media. Thankfully, I’ve never been on social media. The Iranian fans went crazy and flooded the Facebook page of some other unsuspecting Ben Williams. I didn’t read any of the media or comments after the match, but my wife did. She saw all the death threats being made against us and our baby. As you can imagine, my wife didn’t feel safe staying in our own home that night. An Australian Federal Police officer had been assigned to each team of referees for the whole tournament. The officer looking after us said my family would be protected, but for me the line had already been crossed. Members of the Aussie media had fuelled the hatred, in turn jeopardizing the safety of my family. All over a decision that had been correct, albeit delayed. The Aussie commentators had made out like I was the worst person to ever take up the whistle. On the other hand, the AFC stood by my decision and backed me up, and when my performance was assessed, I received extremely high marks. In fact, the match had so many challenging moments that it became an example used by referee coaches throughout Asia. Unfortunately, in my career there were many other times where I felt misrepresented in the Australian media. In fact, it got to the point where I considered legal action for defamation because I have no doubt that there were refereeing appointments I missed out on because of what was said about me in the media and how I was portrayed. I see this as a problem for many officials. The greatest currency for a referee is credibility, and when that credibility is eroded by uninformed voices it diminishes a referee’s capacity to control a match and make the hard but fair calls. I know I was a referee that stuck to his guns and some people didn’t like that. If I’d not had any success outside of Australia maybe I could understand my critics saying ‘You know what, mate, you weren’t that good,’ but I won’t cop that, because I did achieve a lot internationally. With the help of my team, I managed to get into the top 10 referees in the world and was voted best in the AFC. I refereed at FIFA tournaments, the Olympics and even the Asian Champions League Final. I didn’t stop and think much about all that at the time. It’s only since my career ended that I’ve been able to sit back, reflect, and feel a great sense of pride at what I achieved. There’s one thing I never got the chance to do, though. I never got to referee an A-League Grand Final. That kind of says it all really. Mind you, I wouldn’t trade my experiences internationally for that A-League GF!
Why we need to change
The younger officials just starting out now are the people I feel really bad for in all this. All those young boys and girls who will give up their lives for football, to go out there and do what they love, with the dream of representing Australia on the international stage one day. As it stands, they won’t receive the gratitude or respect they deserve for the sacrifices they make for the game. All they’ll get is criticism and anger for the small number of mistakes that are inevitable for any referee finding their feet at the elite level. Referees are marked against decision-making KMIs and achieve percentiles high in the 90s. You could argue that is much higher than the players! Star strikers will sometimes shoot the ball over the bar from six yards out, or a goalkeeper will fail to make an easy save. Still, the media never seem to go after those players in the same way they do with referees. Why can’t we just accept that referees will get it correct far more often than they get it wrong? It’s a tall-poppy syndrome and it extends beyond how we treat officials. I’ve seen top Socceroos brought down in the same way when they’ve come back to play in the A-League. One error and they’re crucified for it. It’s sad because that makes other Socceroos start thinking, ‘Well, why would I come back to play in Australia and put myself through that?’ We’re only hurting ourselves in all this and that’s why Australian football needs to change. I think it all comes down to education. There would be more respect for referees if people were less ignorant of what we actually do. We don’t just ‘rock up’ on match day, see how we feel, and blow a whistle. Self-analysis. Coaching and peer mentoring. Video analysis of tactics, teams and players. Discussing decision-making with other elite officials and coaches around the world. These are just some of the things we do each and every week to stay at the top of our game. Refereeing is physically demanding as well and it’s our own money that we spend to make sure our bodies can keep pace with the quickest players in the world. Getting on the park each week takes massage, acupuncture, running technique coaches and advice from nutritionists. Mentally, you might even need sessions with a sports psychologist. There’s more to refereeing than meets the eye! In recent years, we’ve been trying to educate people more about the preparation required. At the 2014 World Cup, the legendary Brazilian footballer Zico loaned his football facility in Rio de Janeiro to FIFA for the referees to use as a training base. He understood that referees need support to perform at the highest level and wanted us to have the best. After we’d settled in, the Head of Referees put on an open training session for the media. More than 160 members of the media from all around the world came to watch and speak with us. They lapped it up, because it was all stuff they’d never seen before. We took that idea into the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia and hosted a similar day in Sydney. Media came from as far as Japan and the Middle East but no one from Australia, even though it was in our own backyard. It’s unfortunate, because our commentators and journalists are the ones who could have benefitted most, I think. It’s important because the public often hear the commentary and read what’s in the newspapers and take that information as gospel. But when it comes to the ‘expert commentary’ regarding referees, it is ill-informed and unbalanced. In my opinion, the Australian media’s relationship with domestic clubs is often too close. Many Aussie commentators are ex-players who may have been sent off by the referees they are now commentating on. With the platform they now have, it’s easy for them to voice their own opinions, or even ask players and coaches for headlines, to feed outrage. That outrage can suit coaches as well because it’s an opportunity to deflect pressure away from their team. It’s easier for them to blame a referee instead of having to answer for their team’s poor performance. I think our media let coaches off too easily by providing them with this out. In some other countries, football analysts see through these smoke-screens and hold teams to account for the betterment of the game.
The one thing I miss
In the two-and-a-half years before the 2014 World Cup, I spent 400 days overseas. It got to the point where I’d be at the airport getting ready to fly out again, and my daughter would be pleading, ‘Daddy please don’t go.’ It breaks your heart and changes your perspective on things, that’s for sure. From that point, chasing a football around the world became less important. I decided to give up refereeing in 2016 after 25 years in the profession. It was time for me to focus on my family. My wife knew me well before my football career really took off and she has supported me in achieving my dreams, even when we were going through some really tough times. We lost our first daughter just a couple of months before the Olympics in 2012, and my Dad passed away nine days after I got back from the 2014 World Cup. Life has so many highs and lows. My wife was my strength off the field. She and my family kept me grounded, supporting me through it all. Away from home, Matthew Cream and Hakan Anaz were the best teammates I could have hoped for. I’m endlessly grateful because they were always there for me. I’m not sharing this information to seek pity – just as a reminder that referees are human. We have strengths and weaknesses and we’re certainly not infallible. I made mistakes in my career, but I can tell you that I got it right far more than I got it wrong. I want the next generation to get the right support. I don’t want them to miss out on the same magnificent ride that I was blessed to experience. I want them to go on and surpass my achievements and for our country to be proud of them. Do I miss running out in front of 100,000 people? Bloody oath! But I don’t miss the negative press or the countless training hours. I don’t miss red-eye flights back from Perth, Japan or the Middle East and catching a taxi straight from the airport to work. I don’t miss flying out again the next day to referee an A-League game, again and again. I don’t miss suffering financially for taking leave from work, just to represent my country. I don’t miss the sacrifices and moments missed with family. What I do miss, is running out into a cauldron atmosphere with your best mates and getting an absolute box seat for some of the best football in the world. Nothing can replace that. Those memories, they will live with me forever.

Source: PlayersVoice

UEFA Youth League – Group Stage (Matchday 5)

27-28 November 2018

AS Roma – Real Madrid
Referee: Fedayi San (SUI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean-Yves Wicht (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Carmine Sangiovanni (SUI)
Fourth Official: Francesco Fourneau (ITA)
Referee Observer: Matteo Trefoloni (ITA)

CSKA Moskva – Viktoria Plzeň
Referee: Aleksandr Aliyev (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Yevgeni Karlov (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Sysoyev (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Aleksandra Ponomareva (RUS)
Referee Observer: Nikolay Ivanov (RUS)

AEK Athens – AFC Ajax
Referee: Trustin Farrugia Cann (MLT)
Assistant Referee 1: Roberto Vella (MLT)
Assistant Referee 2: Christopher Francalanza (MLT)
Fourth Official: Aristotélis Diamandópoulos (GRE)
Referee Observer: Ioánnis Tsachilídis (GRE)

Manchester United – Young Boys
Referee: Robert Harvey (IRL)
Assistant Referee 1: Emmett Dynan (IRL)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Gavin (IRL)
Fourth Official: Anthony Backhouse (ENG)
Referee Observer: Stephen Lodge (ENG)

TSG Hoffenheim – Shakhtar Donetsk
Referee: Christophe Pires (LUX)
Assistant Referee 1: Joaquim Gomes (LUX)
Assistant Referee 2: Tom Hansen (LUX)
Fourth Official: Robert Kempter (GER)
Referee Observer: Konrad Plautz (AUT)

Olympique Lyonnais – Manchester City
Referee: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Candaş Elbil (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Deniz Caner Özaral (TUR)
Fourth Official: Jérémie Pignard (FRA)
Referee Observer: Rusmir Mrković (BIH)

Bayern München – SL Benfica
Referee: Karim Abed (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehdi Rahmouni (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Mikaël Berchebru (FRA)
Fourth Official: Michael Bacher (GER)
Referee Observer: Jiří Ulrich (CZE)

Juventus – Valencia
Referee: Tihomir Pejin (CRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Marjan Tomas (CRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Kruno Šarić (CRO)
Fourth Official: Fabio Piscopo (ITA)
Referee Observer: Alfredo Trentalange (ITA)

Lokomotiv Moskva – Galatasaray
Referee: Danilo Grujić (SRB)
Assistant Referee 1: Goran Bogićević (SRB)
Assistant Referee 2: Milorad Jovanović (SRB)
Fourth Official: Yevgeniy Turbin (RUS)
Referee Observer: Aleksandr Gvardis (RUS)

Atlético de Madrid – AS Monaco
Referee: Stuart Attwell (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Edward Smart (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Robathan (ENG)
Fourth Official: Miguel Ortiz Arias (ESP)
Referee Observer: Manuel Mejuto González (ESP)

PSV Eindhoven – FC Barcelona
Referee: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel McFarlane (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Calum Spence (SCO)
Fourth Official: Siemen Mulder (NED)
Referee Observer: Marinus Koopman (NED)

Tottenham Hotspur – Internazionale Milano
Referee: Alex Troleis (FRO)
Assistant Referee 1: Johnleif Gerðisá (FRO)
Assistant Referee 2: Jón Johannesen (FRO)
Fourth Official: John Brooks (ENG)
Referee Observer: Are Habicht (EST)

SSC Napoli – Crvena Zvezda
Referee: Sándor Andó-Szabó (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Balázs Szalai (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Gergő Vígh-Tarsonyi (HUN)
Fourth Official: Luca Massimi (ITA)
Referee Observer: Plarent Kotherja (ALB)

Borussia Dortmund – Club Brugge
Referee: Boris Marhefka (SVK)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomáš Vorel (SVK)
Assistant Referee 2: Milan Štrbo (SVK)
Fourth Official: Johann Pfeifer (GER)
Referee Observer: Kaj Natri (FIN)

FC Porto – FC Schalke
Referee: Eldorjan Hamiti (ALB)
Assistant Referee 1: Egin Doda (ALB)
Assistant Referee 2: Ilir Tartaraj (ALB)
Fourth Official: João Gonçalves (POR)
Referee Observer: António Almeida (POR)

Paris Saint Germain – Liverpool FC
Referee: Christian Dingert (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Tobias Christ (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Timo Gerach (GER)
Fourth Official: Bastien Dechepy (FRA)
Referee Observer: Robert Małek (POL)

UEFA Youth League – Domestic Champions Path (Second Round, Second Leg)

27-28 November 2018

GNK Dinamo – FC Astana
Referee: Pavel Orel (CZE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Radek Kotík (CZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Petr Caletka (CZE)
Fourth Official: Ivan Vučković (CRO)
Referee Observer: Dragutin Poljak (CRO)

Dynamo Kyiv – RSC Anderlecht
Referee: Dzianis Ščarbakoŭ (BLR)
Assistant Referee 1: Juryj Chomčanka (BLR)
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Husieŭ (BLR)
Fourth Official: Denys Shurman (UKR)
Referee Observer: Volodymyr Petrov (UKR)

FC Minsk – PAOK
Referee: Dejan Jakimovski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 1: Dejan Nedelkoski (MKD)
Assistant Referee 2: Daniel Vasilevski (MKD)
Fourth Official: Anton Lašuk (BLR)
Referee Observer: Alieh Čykun (BLR)

Hertha BSC – Qabala FK
Referee: Ferenc Karakó (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tibor Csatári (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Norbert Bornemissza (HUN)
Fourth Official: Lasse Koslowski (GER)
Referee Observer: Edgar Steinborn (GER)

Chelsea – Elfsborg
Referee: Kristoffer Hagenes (NOR)
Assistant Referee 1: Anders Dale (NOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Runar Langseth (NOR)
Fourth Official: John Busby (ENG)
Referee Observer: John Ferry (NIR)

Montpellier Hérault – Altınordu
Referee: Urs Schnyder (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Jan Köbeli (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jonas Erni (SUI)
Fourth Official: Arnaud Baert (FRA)
Referee Observer: Marcel Vanelshocht (BEL)

Maccabi Tel Aviv – Sigma Olomouc
Referee: Alper Ulusoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Gökmen Baltacı (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Bersan Duran (TUR)
Fourth Official: David Fuxman (ISR)
Referee Observer: Shmuel Shteif (ISR)

Hamilton Academical – FC Midtjylland
Referee: Bryn Markham-Jones (WAL)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Beckett (WAL)
Assistant Referee 2: Harry Hendricks (WAL)
Fourth Official: David Dickinson (SCO)
Referee Observer: Iain Robertson Brines (SCO)

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2018 – Quarter-finals

24 November 2018

Spain – Korea DPR
Referee: Katalin Kulcsar (HUN, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Katalin Török (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lucie Ratajova (CZE)
Fourth Official: Sandra Braz (POR)
Reserve AR: Oleksandra Ardasheva (UKR)

Japan – New Zealand
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Felisha Mariscal (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Deleana Quan (USA)
Fourth Official: Lucila Venegas (MEX)
Reserve AR: Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)

25 November 2018
Ghana – Mexico
Referee: Maria Carvajal (CHI)
Assistant Referee 1: Leslie Vasquez (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Loreto Toloza (CHI)
Fourth Official: Laura Fortunato (ARG)
Reserve AR: Rocio Puente Pino (ESP)

Germany – Canada
Referee: Salima Mukansanga (RWA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fanta Kone (MLI)
Assistant Referee 2: Bielignin Some (BFA)
Fourth Official: Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN)
Reserve AR: Sarah Jones (NZL)

Updated list of referees for FIFA Club World Cup 2018

The FIFA Referees Committee has announced a number of changes to the list of match officials who will officiate at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018, which takes place from 12-22 December 2018: 
- Bamlak Tessema (Ethiopia, photo) has been appointed as a referee representing the CAF region. He replaces Mehdi Abid Charef (Algeria).
- Zakhele Siwela (South Africa) and Waleed Ahmed (Sudan) have been appointed as assistant referees for the tournament. They replace Abdelhak Etchiali (Algeria) and Anouar Hmila (Tunisia).
All of the selected match officials will arrive in Abu Dhabi on 6 December 2018 to complete their final preparations before the first match kicks off. The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 will be held in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain from 12 to 22 December 2018. The final will be played at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on 22 December. (Source: FIFA)

Referee: Ryuji Sato (JPN, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Toru Sagara (JPN, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Hiroshi Yamauchi (JPN, 1979)

VAR: Abdulla Mohammed (UAE, 1978)

Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH, 1980, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Siwela (RSA, 1982)
Assistant Referee 2: Waleed Ahmed (SDN, 1974)

Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA, 1977)
Assistant Referee 1: Frank Anderson (USA, 1975)
Assistant Referee 2: Corey Rockwell (USA, 1974)

VAR: Mark Geiger (USA, 1974)

Referee: Wilton Sampaio (BRA, 1981)
Assistant Referee 1: Rodrigo Figueiredo (BRA, 1983)
Assistant Referee 2: Bruno Boschilia (BRA, 1983)

VAR: Mauro Vigliano (ARG, 1975)

Referee: Matthew Conger (NZL, 1978)
Assistant Referee 1: Tevita Makasini (TGA, 1976)
Assistant Referee 2: Mark Rule (NZL, 1981)

Referee: Gianluca Rocchi (ITA, 1973) 
Assistant Referee 1: Elenito Di Liberatore (ITA, 1973)
Assistant Referee 2: Mauro Tonolini (ITA, 1973)

VAR 1: Pawel Gil (POL, 1976)
VAR 2: Massimiliano Irrati (ITA, 1979)
VAR 3: Danny Makkelie (NED, 1983)

IFAB recommends fine-tuning Laws

The 133rd Annual Business Meeting of the International Football Association Board took place in Glasgow, Scotland, chaired by Ian Maxwell, Chief Executive of the Scottish FA. The event saw positive feedback received on the changes to the Laws of the Game for 2018/19 and an agreement to recommend additional changes to the Laws of the Game 2019/20 at the AGM in March 2019, including a change to the dropped ball procedure and goalkeepers only being required to have one foot on the goal-line when a penalty kick is taken.
The ABM is designed to evaluate proposals related to potential changes of the Laws of the Game and to make recommendations for The IFAB’s consideration at its next Annual General Meeting (AGM). Some of today’s discussions focused on the positive feedback received by The IFAB Advisory Panels that met earlier this month to discuss ongoing experiments in the following areas:
•substitutes having to leave the field of play at the nearest boundary line
•yellow and red cards for misconduct by team officials
•the ball not having to leave the penalty area at goal kicks
•defending team free-kicks taken inside the penalty area
The members at the ABM unanimously recommended that all these changes should be supported by the AGM in March for inclusion in the Laws of the Game 2019/20.
Additionally, based on experiences from competition trials, the alternative order of kicks during Kicks from the Penalty Mark (so-called ‘AB-BA’), the Board noted the absence of strong support, mainly because the procedure is complex, and agreed that it will no longer be a future option for competitions.
One of the most debated areas of the Laws of the Game is handball and this topic was discussed at length during the ABM, with an agreement being reached on the necessity for a more precise and detailed wording for the different types of handball offences. The ABM duly took note of football stakeholders’ expectations, so the most significant clarifications relate to ‘non-deliberate’ handball situations, where there is an unfair ‘outcome/benefit’ due to the ball making contact with a player’s hand/arm (e.g. a goal should not be allowed if the ball goes directly into the goal from a player’s hand/arm or if a player gains control/possession of the ball from contact with hand/arm and then scores or creates a goal-scoring opportunity).
Discussions also focused on the next steps to be taken regarding the Play fair! Initiative, including measures to address attacking players who cause disruption in the defensive ‘wall’, as well as a dropped ball being given if the ball hits the referee and a goal is scored, team possession changes or an attacking move is created.
The meeting concluded with an update on the current worldwide use of Video Assistant Referees (VARs), where FIFA’s Football Technology Innovation Department and FIFA Refereeing outlined the successful use of VARs at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
Members were also informed about the mandatory FIFA/IFAB VAR implementation Assistance and Approval Programme (IAAP) that all competitions wishing to use VARs must complete in order to receive the necessary approval to use the system in competitive matches.
The 133rd Annual General Meeting of The IFAB will be held in Scotland on 2 March 2019 and will ultimately decide which of today’s proposals and recommendations become part of the Laws of the Game as of 1 June 2019.

Source: IFAB

Referee Hategan comforted by Dutch defender Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk took time to console bereaved referee Ovidiu Hategan following the Netherlands 2-2 draw with Germany on Monday. The Dutch captain scored a 90th-minute equaliser in Gelsenkirchen to ensure his side finished top of Group A1 and sealed their place in the UEFA Nations League Finals. However, instead of immediately celebrating with his team-mates at full-time, Van Dijk went to speak with Romanian official Hategan, who can be seen wiping away tears as the Liverpool defender embraced him and offered words of encouragement following a family bereavement.
"The ref had just lost his mother," Van Dijk told Fox Sports after the match. "He broke down with tears in his eyes. I told him to stay strong and that he had refereed well. It's a small thing, but maybe it helps him". The gesture has impressed journalists and fans. “Referee Ovidiu Hategan recently lost his mother. Right after the FT whistle Virgil van Dijk went towards him to comfort him, while crying. This is beautiful,” AFC Ajax wrote. 
Ovidiu Hategan’s mother died on Monday in hospital, after a long sufferance. The 38-year old referee learned about the news at half-time, informed by the family, as he had previously agreed, to be constantly informed about her health. (Source: SkySports / Romania Journal)

Top African referee Sikazwe suspended over corruption allegations

CAF have provisionally suspended Zambian referee Janny Sikazwe on suspicion of corruption following the way he handled the CAF Champions League match that Esperance won 4-2 in Rades. It is not yet clear if Sikazwe has filed an appeal with the CAF Appeals Board.
“The chairman of the CAF Disciplinary Board decided that there is good ground to hold a hearing regarding allegations of corruption made against Mr. Janny Sikazwe”, reads the ruling of the Disciplinary Board. “Janny Sikazwe is provisionally suspended from all football activities related to CAF pending a hearing before the Disciplinary Board”.
Sikazwe, who refereed at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, awarded a controversial penalty kick which led to Esperance’s first goal after adjudging Algerian forward Mohamed Belaili to have been fouled by Agosto defender Jose Macaia. In the second half, Agosto thought they had buried the contest but Bobo Ungenda’s goal was disallowed after Esperance goalkeeper Rami Jridi was ruled to have been pushed by Mingo Bille in the process. The Tunisians’ winning goal came as scorer Anice Badri appeared to have had infringed on an Agosto defender attempting to clear danger.

Source: SportingNews

Third UEFA VAR Seminar 2018

The third UEFA seminar for VAR is taking place in Istanbul (Turkey), from 20 to 23 November 2018. UEFA selected 12 out of the 24 referees who attended the first two VAR seminars in Netherlands and Spain.

VAR Instructors
1. Massimiliano Irrati (ITA)
2. Juan Martinez Munuera (ESP)
3. Jose Sanchez Martinez (ESP)
4. Huseyin Gocek (TUR)

1. Aleksei Kulbakov (BLR)
2. Georgi Kabakov (BUL)
3. Petr Ardeleanu (CZE)
4. Stuart Attwell (ENG)
5. Anthony Taylor (ENG)
6. Orel Grinfeeld (ISR)
7. Andris Treimanis (LVA)
8. Ovidiu Hategan (ROU)
9. Istvan Kovacs (ROU)
10. Robert Madden (SCO)
11. Ivan Kruzliak (SVK)
12. Slavco Vincic (SVN)

Assistant Referees
1. Aleh Maslianka (BLR)
2. Dzmitry Zhuk (BLR)
3. Martin Margaritov (BUL)
4. Diyan Valkov (BUL)
5. Gary Beswick (ENG)
6. Adam Nunn (ENG)
7. Roy Hassan (ISR)
8. Idan Yarkoni (ISR)
9. Haralds Gudermanis (LVA)
10. Aleksejs Spasjonnikovs (LVA)
11. Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
12. Octavian Sovre (ROU)
13. Ovidiu Artene (ROU)
14. Vasile Marinescu (ROU)
15. Francis Connor (SCO)
16. Douglas Ross (SCO)
17. Branislav Hancko (SVK)
18. Tomas Somolani (SVK)
19. Tomas Klancnik (SVN)
20. Andraz Kovacic (SVN)

Source: TFF

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2018 – Group Stage (Matches 21-24)

21 November 2018

Spain – Canada
Referee: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Ekaterina Kurochkina (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Nicolet Bakker (NED)
Fourth Official: Maria Carvajal (CHI)

Colombia – Korea
Referee: Sandra Braz (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Rocio Puente Pino (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Oleksandra Ardasheva (UKR)
Fourth Official: Lucila Venegas (MEX)

Germany – USA
Referee: Laura Fortunato (ARG)
Assistant Referee 1: Mariana Almeida (ARG)
Assistant Referee 2: Nilda Gamarra (PAR)
Fourth Official: Maria Carvajal (CHI)

Cameroon – Korea DPR
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (CAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Princess Brown (JAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Stephanie Yee Sing (JAM)
Fourth Official: Lucila Venegas (MEX)

IFAB to clarify handball by removing the word “deliberately”

A surprising proposal is expected to be put up for discussion which would mean that penalty kicks are “one shot” – and that there will be no rebounds if the kick is saved or strikes the goal-frame and bounces back into play. If such a change was made it would mean that the ball would be deemed “dead” once the keeper had blocked the penalty and a goal kick would be awarded. It would be the same as in kicks from the penalty mark and would do away with the problem of players encroaching. The change would be controversial and comes under the second category of proposals to be discussed. The IFAB panel comprises the four home associations, which have one vote each, and FIFA, which has four votes. Law changes require at least six votes, but this meeting is only to decide what to take forward to the IFAB’s annual general meeting in March.
There appears to be a far greater consensus that the handball law is unsatisfactory. In the Laws of the Game under Law 12, Fouls and Misconduct, it is stated that a free kick or penalty kick is awarded if a player “handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)”. What counts as “deliberately” has continually stirred up debate. There is no description of what constitutes deliberate handball, which places the responsibility on the referee and his assistants. The wording in the FA’s rules ads that “distance between the opponent and ball” should be taken into consideration, but the onus on what constitutes deliberate still lies with the officials. It appears that the change, if put forward, would remove the word “deliberately” and define handball as to do with the hand or arm being in an unnatural position at the point of contact. Agreeing what is an unnatural position might also be tricky, but one proposal is for it to be defined as if the ball strikes the arm above shoulder height. It would also be an offence if the ball hits the arm below shoulder height but in an unnatural position, which could be defined as more than eight o’clock or four o’clock from the body. Any goal scored after striking the arm of an attacking player would be disallowed. One issue that will be raised is the concern that attacking players could aim the ball at the arm of a defender to gain an advantage.
There are two IFAB advisory panels – one football and one technical. The football panel is made up of former players, former and current coaches, technical directors, the Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFPro) and experts from confederations. The technical panel is formed by former referees from all the confederations. It has already been revealed that the IFAB advisory panels will discuss whether substitutions during injury time should be stopped or limited to try to avoid time-wasting. There is a fear that it has almost become a tactic for managers. Another measure under consideration is that any player who is substituted has to leave the pitch via the closest touchline rather than walk to the technical area. Some managers waste time by telling players to go as far away as possible from the technical area before they are taken off and then to head for the bench as slowly as possible.

Source: Telegraph

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2018 – Group Stage (Matches 17-20)

20 November 2018

South Africa – Brazil
Referee: Riem Hussein (GER, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Kylie Cockburn (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Mihaela Tepusa (ROU)
Fourth Official: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)

Japan – Mexico
Referee: Salima Mukansanga (RWA)
Assistant Referee 1: Fanta Kone (MLI)
Assistant Referee 2: Bielignin Some (BFA)
Fourth Official: Katalin Kulcsar (HUN)

Ghana – New Zealand
Referee: Sara Persson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 1: Julia Magnusson (SWE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lisa Rashid (ENG)
Fourth Official: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA)

Finland – Uruguay
Referee: Casey Reibelt (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Lee Seul Gi (KOR)
Assistant Referee 2: Sarah Jones (NZL)
Fourth Official: Katalin Kulcsar (HUN)

CAF Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

16-18 November 2018

Egypt – Tunisia
Referee: Victor Gomes (RSA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Zakhele Siwela (RSA)
Assistant Referee 2: Johannes Moshidi (RSA)

South Africa – Nigeria
Referee: Bakary Gassama (GAM)
Assistant Referee 1: Sulayman Sosseh (GAM)
Assistant Referee 2: Omar Darboe (GAM)

Morocco – Cameroon
Referee: Eric Otogo-Castane (GAB)
Assistant Referee 1: Moussounda Montel (GAB)
Assistant Referee 2: Theophile Vinga (GAB)

South Sudan – Burundi
Referee: Souleiman Djamal (DJI)
Assistant Referee 1: Farhan Salime (DJI)
Assistant Referee 2: Salah Abdi (DJI)

Comoros – Malawi
Referee: Louis Hakizimana (RWA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ambroise Hakizimana (RWA)
Assistant Referee 2: Zephanie Niyonkuru (RWA)

Uganda – Cape Verde
Referee: Youssef Essrayri (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Yamen Malloulchi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Jridi Faouzi (TUN)

Gabon – Mali
Referees: El Fadil Hussein (SDN)
Assistant Referee 1: Waleed Ahmed (SDN)
Assistant Referee 2: Mohammed Ibrahim (SDN)

Namibia – Guinea Bissau
Referees: Noureddine El Jaafari (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Lahcen Azgaou (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mustapha Akerkad (MAR)

Equatorial Guinea – Senegal
Referee: Mahmoud Zakaria (EGY)
Assistant Referee 1: Mahmoud Abo (EGY)
Assistant Referee 2: Gamal Saad (EGY)

Gambia – Benin
Referee: Sadok Selmi (TUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Attia Amsaad (LBY)
Assistant Referee 2: Aymen Ismail (TUN)

Seychelles – Libya
Referee: Ali Adelaid (COM)
Assistant Referee 1: Soulaimane Amaldine (COM)
Assistant Referee 2: Hamadi Ibrahim (COM) |

Madagascar – Sudan
Referee: Bamlak Tessema (ETH)
Assistant Referee 1: Temesgin Atango (ETH)
Assistant Referee 2: Tigle Belachew (ETH)

Congo – RD Congo
Referee: Alioum Alioum (CMR)
Assistant Referee 1: Evarist Menkouande (CMR)
Assistant Referee 2: Elvis Noupue (CMR)

Mozambique – Zambia
Referee: Joshua Bondo (BOT)
Assistant Referee 1: Souru Phatsoane (LES)
Assistant Referee 2: Oamogetse Godisamang (BOT)

Eswatini – Niger
Referee: Ahmad Heeralall (MRI)
Assistant Referee 1: Louis Fabien (MRI)
Assistant Referee 2: Akhtar Rossaye (MRI)

Rwanda – Central African Republic
Referee: Boubou Traore (MLI)
Assistant Referee 1: Baba Yomboliba (MLI)
Assistant Referee 2: Drissa Niare (MLI)

Ethiopia – Ghana
Referee: Mustapha Ghorbal (ALG)
Assistant Referee 1: Mokrane Gourari (ALG)
Assistant Referee 2: Bouabdallah Omari (ALG)

Togo – Algeria
Referee: Davies Omweno (KEN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gilbert Cheruiyot (KEN)
Assistant Referee 2: Tony Kidiya (KEN)

Angola – Burkina Faso
Referee: Jean-Jacques Ngambo (COD)
Assistant Referee 1: Olivier Safari (COD)
Assistant Referee 2: Yahaya Mahamadou (NIG)

Liberia – Zimbabwe
Referee: Maguette N’Diaye (SEN
Assistant Referee 1: Djibril Camara (SEN)
Assistant Referee 2: El Hadji Samba (SEN)

Lesotho – Tanzania
Referee: Thierry Nkurunziza (BDI)
Assistant Referee 1: Jean Birumushahu (BDI)
Assistant Referee 2: Pascal Ndimunzigo (BDI)

Mauritania – Botswana
Referee: Hassan Mohamed (SOM)
Assistant Referee 1: Hamza Abdi (SOM)
Assistant Referee 2: Bashir Suleiman (SOM)

Guinea – Cote d'Ivoire
Referee: Redouane Jiyed (MAR)
Assistant Referee 1: Youssef Mabrouk (MAR)
Assistant Referee 2: Yahya Nouali (MAR)

CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations 2018

Ghana, 17 November – 1 December 2018

1. Adia Cisse (SEN)
2. Bernadettar Kwimbira (MWI)
3. Bouchra Karboubi (MAR)
4. Diana Chikotesha (ZAM)
5. Fatiha Jermoumi (MAR)
6. Fatou Thioune (SEN)
7. Gladys Lengwe (ZAM, photo)
8. Jonesia Kabakama (TAN)
9. Mireille Mujanayi (COD)
10. Denise Akoua (CIV)
11. Lettitia Viana (EFA)
12. Lidwine Rakotozafinoro (MAD)
13. Lidya Tafesse (ETH)
14. Mary Njoroge (KEN)
15. Mimisen Iyorhe (NGA)
16. Mona Mahmoud (EGY)

UEFA Nations League – Group Stage (Matchday 6)

18-20 November 2018

League A
England – Croatia
Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Polychronis Kostaras (GRE)
Assistant Referee 2: Lázaros Dimitriadis (GRE)
Fourth Official: Damianos Efthymiadis (GRE)
Additional AR 1: Anastasios Papapetrou (GRE)
Additional AR 2: Ioannis Papadopoulos (GRE)
Referee Observer: Herbert Fandel (GER)

Switzerland – Belgium
Referee: Daniele Orsato (ITA)
Assistant Referee 1: Lorenzo Manganelli (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Fabiano Preti (ITA)
Fourth Official: Giorgio Peretti (ITA)
Additional AR 1: Paolo Mazzoleni (ITA)
Additional AR 2: Piero Giacomelli (ITA)
Referee Observer: Miroslav Liba (CZE)

Germany – Netherlands
Referee: Ovidiu Hațegan (ROU)
Assistant Referee 1: Octavian Șovre (ROU)
Assistant Referee 2: Sebastian Gheorghe (ROU)
Fourth Official: Radu Ghinguleac (ROU)
Additional AR 1: Radu Petrescu (ROU)
Additional AR 2: Sebastian Colțescu (ROU)
Referee Observer: Marcel Vanelshocht (BEL)

Portugal – Poland
Referee: Sergey Karasev (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Igor Demeshko (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Aleksey Lunev (RUS)
Fourth Official: Valery Danchenko (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Sergey Ivanov (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Vladimir Moskalev (RUS)
Referee Observer: Michael Ross (NIR)

League B
Northern Ireland – Austria
Referee: Jonathan Lardot (BEL)
Assistant Referee 1: Frédéric Godelaine (BEL)
Assistant Referee 2: Laurent Conotte (BEL)
Fourth Official: Vito Di Vincenzo (BEL)
Additional AR 1: Alexandre Boucaut (BEL)
Additional AR 2: Nathan Verboomen (BEL)
Referee Observer: David Elleray (ENG)

Czech Republic – Slovakia
Referee: Alejandro Hernández Hernández (ESP)
Assistant Referee 1: Teodoro Sobrino Magán (ESP)
Assistant Referee 2: Raúl Cabañero Martínez (ESP)
Fourth Official: Roberto Díaz Pérez (ESP)
Additional AR 1: Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea (ESP)
Additional AR 2: José Munuera Montero (ESP)
Referee Observer: Frank De Bleeckere (BEL)

Denmark – Ireland
Referee: Aliyar Agayev (AZE)
Assistant Referee 1: Zeynal Zeynalov (AZE)
Assistant Referee 2: Rza Mammadov (AZE)
Fourth Official: Mübariz Haşımov (AZE)
Additional AR 1: Rahim Hasanov (AZE)
Additional AR 2: Orxan Mammadov (AZE)
Referee Observer: Peter Sippel (GER)

Sweden – Russia
Referee: Benoît Bastien (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Hicham Zakrani (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Frédéric Haquette (FRA)
Fourth Official: Nicolas Danos (FRA)
Additional AR 1: François Letexier (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Jérôme Miguelgorry (FRA)
Referee Observer: Michális Koukoulákis (GRE)

League C
Greece – Estonia
Referee: Yevhen Aranovsky (UKR)
Assistant Referee 1: Serhiy Bekker (UKR)
Assistant Referee 2: Oleh Pluzhnyk (UKR)
Fourth Official: Semen Shlonchak (UKR)
Additional AR 1: Serhiy Boyko (UKR)
Additional AR 2: Anatoliy Abdula (UKR)
Referee Observer: Vlado Svilokos (CRO)

Hungary – Finland
Referee: Slavko Vinčič (SVN)
Assistant Referee 1: Tomaž Klančnik (SVN)
Assistant Referee 2: Andraž Kovačič (SVN)
Fourth Official: Grega Kordež (SVN)
Additional AR 1: Nejc Kajtazovič (SVN)
Additional AR 2: Roberto Ponis (SVN)
Referee Observer: Andreas Schluchter (SUI)

Bulgaria – Slovenia
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Mustafa Eyisoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Kemal Yılmaz (TUR)
Fourth Official: Erdem Bayık (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Mete Kalkavan (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Suat Arslanboğa (TUR)
Referee Observer: Boško Jovanetić (SRB)

Cyprus – Norway
Referee: István Vad (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: István Albert (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Péter Berettyán (HUN)
Fourth Official: Theodoros Georgiou (HUN)
Additional AR 1: Ferenc Karakó (HUN)
Additional AR 2: József Erdős (HUN)
Referee Observer: Stephen Lodge (ENG)

Scotland – Israel
Referee: Tobias Welz (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Rafael Foltyn (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Markus Häcker (GER)
Fourth Official: Mark Borsch (GER)
Additional AR 1: Marco Fritz (GER)
Additional AR 2: Patrick Ittrich (GER)
Referee Observer: Dušan Krchňák (SVK)

Montenegro – Romania
Referee: Felix Zwayer (GER)
Assistant Referee 1: Thorsten Schiffner (GER)
Assistant Referee 2: Marco Achmüller (GER)
Fourth Official: Christian Gittelmann (GER)
Additional AR 1: Tobias Stieler (GER)
Additional AR 2: Sascha Stegemann (GER)
Referee Observer: Rune Pedersen (NOR)

Serbia – Lithuania
Referee: Kristo Tohver (EST)
Assistant Referee 1: Silver Kõiv (EST)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitri Vinogradov (EST)
Fourth Official: Jaan Roos (EST)
Additional AR 1: Joonas Jaanovits (EST)
Additional AR 2: Eiko Saar (EST)
Referee Observer: Yuriy Baskakov (RUS)

League D
Moldova – Luxembourg
Referee: Adrien Jaccottet (SUI)
Assistant Referee 1: Vital Jobin (SUI)
Assistant Referee 2: Jan Köbeli (SUI)
Fourth Official: Remy Zgraggen (SUI)
Additional AR 1: Alain Bieri (SUI)
Additional AR 2: Urs Schnyder (SUI)
Referee Observer: Asim Xudiyev (AZE)

San Marino – Belarus
Referee: Giorgi Kruashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 1: Zaza Menteshashvili (GEO)
Assistant Referee 2: Zaza Pipia (GEO)
Fourth Official: Levan Varamishvili (GEO)
Additional AR 1: Giorgi Vadachkoria (GEO)
Additional AR 2: Goga Kikacheishvili (GEO)
Referee Observer: Ladislav Gádoši (SVK)

Andorra – Latvia
Referee: Halil Umut Meler (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Kerem Ersoy (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: İbrahim Uyarcan (TUR)
Fourth Official: Ceyhun Sesigüzel (TUR)
Additional AR 1: Yaşar Uğurlu (TUR)
Additional AR 2: Ümit Öztürk (TUR)
Referee Observer: Elmir Pilav (BIH)

Georgia – Kazakhstan
Referee: Tiago Martins (POR)
Assistant Referee 1: Luís Campos (POR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ricardo Santos (POR)
Fourth Official: António Godinho (POR)
Additional AR 1: Hugo Miguel (POR)
Additional AR 2: João Capela (POR)
Referee Observer: Igor Pristovnik (CRO)

Liechtenstein – Armenia
Referee: Alain Durieux (LUX)
Assistant Referee 1: Daniel Da Costa (LUX)
Assistant Referee 2: Gilles Becker (LUX)
Fourth Official: Claude Ries (LUX)
Additional AR 1: Christophe Pires (LUX)
Additional AR 2: Alex Krueger (LUX)
Referee Observer: Are Habicht (EST)

FYR Macedonia – Gibraltar
Referee: Daniyar Sakhi (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 1: Aydyn Tasybayev (KAZ)
Assistant Referee 2: Sergey Kalachev (KAZ)
Fourth Official: Evgeny Belskiy (KAZ)
Additional AR 1: Furkat Atazhanov (KAZ)
Additional AR 2: Arman Ismuratov (KAZ)
Referee Observer: Ingi Jónsson (ISL)

Kosovo – Azerbaijan
Referee: Benoît Millot (FRA)
Assistant Referee 1: Mehdi Rahmouni (FRA)
Assistant Referee 2: Bertrand Jouannaud (FRA)
Fourth Official: Benjamin Pagès (FRA)
Additional AR 1: Frank Schneider (FRA)
Additional AR 2: Karim Abed (FRA)
Referee Observer: Aleksander Gvardis (RUS)

Malta – Faroe Islands
Referee: Vitaly Meshkov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Anton Averyanov (RUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Dmitry Mosyakin (RUS)
Fourth Official: Maksim Gavrilin (RUS)
Additional AR 1: Sergey Lapochkin (RUS)
Additional AR 2: Mikhail Vilkov (RUS)
Referee Observer: António Almeida (POR)

UEFA U-21 Euro 2019 Qualifiers – Play-off (Second Leg)

20 November 2018

Portugal – Poland
Referee: Davide Massa (ITA, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Mauro Tonolini (ITA)
Assistant Referee 2: Stefano Alassio (ITA)
Fourth Official: Fabio Maresca (ITA)
Referee Observer: Bertrand Layec (FRA)

Austria – Greece
Referee: Craig Pawson (ENG)
Assistant Referee 1: Lee Betts (ENG)
Assistant Referee 2: Ian Hussin (ENG)
Fourth Official: Christopher Kavanagh (ENG)
Referee Observer: Alexandru Deaconu (ROU)

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2018 – Group Stage (Matches 13-16)

17 November 2018

Korea – Canada
Referee: Maria Carvajal (CHI, photo)
Assistant Referee 1: Leslie Vásquez (CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Loreto Toloza (CHI)
Fourth Official: Casey Reibelt (AUS)

USA – Korea DPR
Referee: Katalin Kulcsár (HUN)
Assistant Referee 1: Katalin Török (HUN)
Assistant Referee 2: Lucie Ratajová (CZE)
Fourth Official: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS)

Colombia – Spain
Referee: Yoshimi Yamashita (JPN)
Assistant Referee 1: Naomi Teshirogi (JPN)
Assistant Referee 2: Makoto Bozono (JPN)
Fourth Official: Casey Reibelt (AUS)

Germany – Cameroon
Referee: Lucila Venegas (MEX)
Assistant Referee 1: Mayte Chavez (MEX)
Assistant Referee 2: Enedina Caudillo (MEX)
Fourth Official: Anastasia Pustovoitova (RUS)

Chapron: “I was probably the only one saying no to Ibrahimovic”

A tumble to the turf, a rush of blood, a lashing out, and a long career unravels in an instant. Tony Chapron speaks calmly now, as he looks back on the "nightmare" moment that essentially cost him his job as a referee in the French top flight. But he still has regrets. It all happened back in January, during a Ligue 1 fixture between Nantes and Paris St-Germain. Kylian Mbappe was breaking clear and everyone was racing back behind him, including Chapron. He and Nantes player Diego Carlos collided. Chapron was inadvertently knocked over. Staggering to his feet, Chapron swung a boot at the defender. Then he sent the defender off. Most likely you will have seen the clip - Chapron says it feels like the whole world saw it. The footage went viral and he was heavily criticised on social media. He was banned for six months by the French Football Federation and then decided to end his career as referee.
"I didn't want to kick him", he tells the BBC's World Football Podcast. "It's a pity because I finished my career on this game, on this situation. It's difficult to accept after being a referee for 1,500 matches because in the moment it was just reflex. I'm a human and I felt a pain and I was scared. I was tired. It was not aggressive. I just fell down, someone pushed me and as a reflex I put my foot out and said, 'Hey guy, take care!' In fact, the reaction of the players and the coaches was, 'OK, this guy made a mistake, so what? But for the media and social media it was a big affair. Because the referee should not act like this and I agree and apologize for my reaction". He says he was treated more harshly than players who have instinctively lashed out, however. "Just remember when Zinedine Zidane gave a headbutt in the 2006 World Cup final. He was a fantastic player, maybe one of the best in the world for many years. And the reaction in this situation with Zidane was not so big if you compare with my situation".
Chapron now works for French media and is free to say what he really thinks about the players he used to referee. One story stands out. "Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a very annoying guy", Chapron begins. "Not only with referees, he was always blaming his team-mates, always trying to cause some trouble with the opponents. He was a crazy guy. I think he's a fantastic player, but on the pitch he's someone else. And it was very difficult as a referee. I hope for him that he's a kind of actor, because he says so many things, crazy things, I hope he doesn't think what he says". In 2015, Chapron was in charge when Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick for PSG in a victory over Lorient. After the match, the striker approached him. Chapron had the ball in his hands. "He arrived close to me he just clicked his fingers and said; 'The ball!'" Chapron says. "I have four daughters and when we're together and they ask something, if we don't have the word 'please' at the end of the sentence, there is no reaction. So, it's the same, it's a kind of education. I think it was a kind of disrespect. There is something wrong with society if we forget the simple things such as 'please' and 'thank you'. "It was the beginning of the Ibrahimovic show, because nobody says no to Zlatan. I was probably the only one". Having given up his life as a referee, Tony Chapron remains philosophical when he looks back at his headline-making career. "Winston Churchill once said, 'Success is to go from failure to failure and to keep smiling'," he says. "I think this is the way we must think as referees!" 

Source: BBC